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Prime Ministers Questions

News/Business. Coverage of the British House of Commons with prime minister response time.

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00:35:00

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480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Harriet Harman 7, Us 4, Levison 3, United States 3, David Lee Collins 3, Obama 3, Scotland 2, Syria 2, Ireland 2, Iceland 2, Washington 2, Mr. Ian Wright 2, Afghanistan 1, Cyprus 1, U.s. 1, Sweden 1, Malaysia Or Indonesia 1, Zwruzz 1, Manchester 1, Berlin 1,
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  CSPAN    Prime Ministers Questions    News/Business. Coverage of the British House  
   of Commons with prime minister response time.  

    November 11, 2012
    9:00 - 9:35pm EST  

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minister takes questions from members of the house of commons. >> tomorrow on washington journal, fann johnson looks at comprehensive immigration reform. and we discuss the role money played in campaign 2012. and lindy paul, now a partner for price waterhouse coopers talks about the white house and congressional efforts concerning tax cuts that are set to expire the end of the year. "washington journal" live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c chance span eastern on c-span. >> 2013 should be the year we
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begin to solve our debt through tax reform and entitlement reform. and i'm proposing we avert the fiscal cliff together in a manner that ensures that 2013 is finally the year our government comes to grips with the problems that are facing us. >> i'm open to compromise. i'm open to new ideas. i'm committed to solving our fiscal challenges. but i refuse to accept any approach that isn't balanced. i'm not going to ask students and seniors and middle class families to pay down the entire deficit while people like me making over $250,000 aren't asked to pay a dime more in taxes. >> the newly elected congress starts work in january but the current congress still has work to do through the end of the year in what's typically referred to as a lame duck session. work is expected on the impending fiscal cliff, including the bush tax cuts,
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the deficit, and raising the debt ceiling and by how much and planned cuts to military spending also known as sequestration. follow the house debates with live coverage on c-span and the senate on c-span 2. >> deputy british prime minister and liberal democrat leader nick clegg answered questions wednesday during prime minister's questions. prime minister david cameron was away on a trip to the gulf. they congratulated president obama for winning the election. other questions focused on the economy, cuts in the health service and trade relations with the united states. this is about 35 minutes. >> order. questions to the prime minister. mr. ian wright. >> question number one, mr. speaker. >> the house will know my right
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honorable friend, the prime minister is on an official overseas visit to the middle east. mr. speaker, the whole house would wish to join me in paying tribute to the two british soldiers killed in afghanistan last week, our heartfelt condolences goes to the families and friends of these brave service men and with remembrance day on sunday we're once again reminded of the remarkable job our armed forces do to ensure our safety and security. furthermore, mr. speaker, the house would wish to join me in paying tribute to david black the northern island prison service officer who was shot and killed last friday. as my right noble friend, the secretary and state of northern ireland said in the house on friday we utterly condemn this cowardly crime. our thoughts are with david's wife and children at this distressing time. mr. speaker, i'm sure also the house would want to join me in
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congratulating president obama on his election victory last night. the only point i will be cheered today. we look forward to continuing the government's work with him in building a more prosperous, a more free and more table world. mr. speaker, this morning i had meeting with ministerial colleagues in addition to my duties in this house and shall have further meetings today. mr. ian wright. >> thank you. my i associate myself with the tribute to the fallen service men and it's right this house pay tribute to those who have fallen in service and never more so in week of remembrance sunday. may i also say president obama will be relieved to get the support of the deputy. [laughter] >> mr. speaker, the former metropolitan police commissioner said the police morale is at national crisis
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levels. is he right? and why is that the case? >> mr. speaker, as you also know, the latest figure show overall crime is down by 6%. the biggest satisfaction with the police have actually gone up. but the response times to emergency calls is has been maintained and crime has fallen precipitously in his own constituency so we want to congratulate the police and not denigrate the police on doing a difficult job with dealing with savings as everyone has to while keeping the public safe. before >> my honorable friend agree with the chancellor and german finance minister calling on the oced to tackle plans for the challenge of corporate tax avoidance by multinational companies. >> i'm sure everybody will warmly welcome the work the
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chancellor is now doing with the finance department and the finance minister in berlin to crack down on what was industrial scale tax avoidance by large corporate entities in this country and else where which is allowed to go unchecked under 13 years of the labor government. >> harriet. >> may i join in giving our condolences to edward drummond baxter and the lance corporal of the first battalion. our thoughts are with their families and friends and remembrance services this sunday we will remember not just those who died in the two world wars but all our service men and women who lost their lives. we send our deepest sympathy to the family of david black of the northern ireland prison service who was killed last friday. mr. speaker, can i also join
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the deputy prime minister in offering our warmest congratulations to the president of the united states, bar all obama. this morning he spoke of his determination to create more jobs, health care for all, and tackling the scourge of inequality. we wish him well. mr. speaker, lord justice levison will be publishing his report and recommendation soon. the deputy prime minister said that provideed justice levison's proposals are workable the government should implement them and we agree. when his report is published, will the government convene cross party talks to take it forward? we need a strong, free press, and we also need a proper system to protect people from being, as the prime minister said, thrown to the wolves. >> hear, hear. >> i agree with much of what she said about levison if his
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proposal, and i haven't seen them yet, we'll have to wait to see what he comes up with. i think we should seek to support them. of course. that is the whole point of the exercise. i also agree with her we should work on a cross party basis where we can. this is a major, major issue which escapes the normal kind of point scoring in party politics and there are two principles she alludes to. firstly, we must do everything to ensure we maintain a free independent press and what makes our democracy and our country what it is. but also make sure that the vulnerable are protected from abuse by the powerful, and that happened on an unacceptable scale on too many occasions. we need to be able to look the parents of millie in the eye and say in the future there will be permanent independent forms of recourse and accountability when things go wrong in the future.
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>> harriet harman. >> i thank you for that answer. we must have a press that reports the truth without fear or favor but after all the evidence that came out during the inquiry, particularly as he said from the family, we can't continue with the status quo, a press complaint system where the publication can simply walk away from the system and a system run by the press. will the deputy prime minister agree that aversion of business as usual will simply not do and it would be a dereliction of our duty to allow the leveson report to be kicked into the long grass. >> i think everybody accepts whatever their individual views. business as usual is not acceptable. the status quo has failed. it's failed over and over again. the model of self regulation we've seen over the last several years has not worked when things have gone awry, so i certainly agree with the premise upon which we in the government actually created the
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leveson inquiry which is to seek our recommendations for change. that's the whole point of the inquiry. >> harriet harman. >> i look forward to all of us having the opportunity to work together in the public interest to get this right. now, mr. speaker, this week the deputy prime minister sent an email to his party members. in it he described the task of finding childcare as a real nightmare. isn't it clear that cutting the childcare element of tax credits has made that nightmare worse for parents? >> i'll tell you, it's actually helped many people to struggle to make ends meet and pay for childcare is the fact this government is providing 15 hours of free preschool support and childcare for every 3 and 4-year-old in the country. no government has done that before. it is this government that will provide 50 hours of preschool support and childcare to some of the poorest 2-year-olds in the country. no other government has done
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that before. it is this government that is taking two million people on low pay out of paying any income tax altogether. that's the record i'm proud of. >> harriet harman. >> the deputy prime minister has shown himself to be completely out of touch. the reality is that many part-time working parents are having to give up their jobs because of the cut in tax credit and having instead to be on benefits. and i asked him about the childcare element of the tax credit, and he hasn't answered. why won't admit the cuts he voted for has cost families 500 pounds and 44,000 families are losing out. and if that wasn't bad enough, they're cutting $1 billion pounds from short start. in his email he said he was going to reveal -- >> order. i know the junior minister in
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the back row thinks her views are irrelevant, not interested. order. i don't want heckling. what i want is the question to be heard and it will be heard with courtesy. if the session has to be extended for that to happen, so be it. harriet harman. >> thank you. thank you, mr. speaker. i'm beginning to have quite a lot of sympathy with the honorable member. all those rats and snakes and that was even before he went to the jungle. in the deputy prime minister's email, he said he was going to reveal -- mr. speaker. >> order. order. i've made the point once. i'm going to make it only once more. mr. mccartney, your heckling is not wanted. it doesn't help. stop it and stop it for the remainder of this session and in the future. i made the position clear. harriet harman. >> thank you, mr. speaker. in the deputy prime minister's email he said he was going to
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reveal what really goes on behind those white hall doors. so perhaps in his next week's installment he'll tell the truth under his government families are worse off, aren't they? >> as of next april, because of one of the most radical tax changes introduced by any government in living memory, 24 million basic rate taxpayers will be 550 pounds better off. that is a radical change i am very proud of. i'm proud of the fact 3 and 4-year-olds will benefit from our changes and the 2-year-olds will benefit. as she may have noted in a much quoted relation resolution report tax credits are not the best answers for many families. yes, i accept we need to do more to make childcare affordable so more women can get back into work at an earlier stage. that is what this government is setting about doing while we're also cleaning up the mess left
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behind. >> harriet harman. >> he comes to the dispatch box and says one thing but he does something completely different. and he's at it again on the police. two years ago, he made a solemn election pledge that the lib dems will provide 3,000 more police officers. but there aren't more, there are 6,800 fewer and it's tuition fees all over again. why should anyone trust the lib dems on policing? >> at least they can trust this side of the house with the economy. >> let me explain. mr. speaker, let me explain. the shadow chancellor is not here. >> the right honorable gentleman is in danger of being heckled enormously and stupidly
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by both sides. the right and honorable gentleman's answer will be heard. however long it takes so the juvenile delink weans should stop now. deputy prime minister. >> i'm used to getting it from both side. the shadow chancellor is not here. but just to underline the point, last year in a television interview, he denied that there was a structural deficit while labor was in power. last month in another television interview he denied the denial. now we have the shadow chancellor briefing against himself in television interviews, how on earth is anyone going to have any faith this lot can sort out the economy? >> harriet harman. >> people know they can't trust. people are finding they can't trust this government on the economy because the government he spours. we've lost two years of economic growth.
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and i don't know why they're so cheerful about the cuts in police numbers. they might not be bothered by their constituents certainly are. and it's always the same with the lib dems, you cast truss them. and when it comes to voting next week, people will remember you certainly can't trust them on the police. >> what about her promise of no boom and bust? what happened to that one? this coalition has been in power 2 1/2 years and in those 2 1/2 years we've given 20 million basic rate taxpayers income tax cuts. we've taken two million of low pay out of tax cuts. we cut deficit by a 1/4 and reformed welfare. what has she and her colleagues done? they've gone on a few marches. they denied any responsibility for the mess we're in, and they haven't even filled in their blank sheet of paper where there should be some policies.
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she might be hoping for some bad news. but to make her point in this country, we are sorting out the mess she left behind. >> steve cry. >> thank you very much, speaker, moving on as we must i would echo the comments on the u.s. election and congratulate mr. obama on his victory. it's good to see a leader re-elected in difficult times. would the deputy prime minister indulge me, alongside emerging markets in the middle east britain should look to strengthen economic and trade ties to the u.s. with a new trade deal as we seek to boost our recovery and maybe start one across the channels? >> i agree with you and i think the lesson of the presidential elections in the states is the voters' memories are longer than members seem to think because voters when it comes to
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casting a vote remember who created the mess in the first place and who has to do the painstaking and difficult, yes, longer than we hoped job of sorting out the mess. and of course there is so much we need to do to work together with the new obama administration and he talks about trade. i'd like to see a new e.u.-u.s. free trade agreement which would spur economic growth in both our economies and also for instance was delighted to hear overnight president obama singled out his commitment to dealing with climate change, another area where we can work together very well with him. >> mr. speaker, the deputy prime minister tells us he supports the living wage and the increase on monday. can he tell us how many lib dems councils pay the living wage? >> mr. speaker, i'm sure she knows her own leader -- order. >> the honorable lady asked the
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deputy prime minister a question. members will have the urtess i to hear the answer. i want to hear it. >> her own leader said this is a voluntary process by which we need to encourage both councils and employers in the public and private sectors to pay the living wage. no one will disagree with the idea of a living wage where people are paid a fair wage for a full day's work. there is a lot of extra work to be done to make this a reality. but guess what, it is this government, because our tax changes which mean as of next april someone working on the minimum wage will have their income tax cut by half. >> john leach. >> thank you, mr. speaker, the tragic death of david lee collins while off duty in cyprus is a devastating blow to his mother, my constituent, and to family and friend in the constituency and across manchester. will the deputy prime minister assure me that the foreign office and the ministry of defense are working with
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cypriot authorities to ensure the perpetuators are brought to justice? >> hear, hear. >> first, i think everybody, our hearts go out to the mother and indeed the family and friends of david lee collins who came to such an untimely death in the way he described. and it's obviously right for him to raise this issue on behalf of david lee collins, his mother. and i can certainly assure him the ministry of defense and the foreign office are doing everything they can to find out exactly what happened to bring the perpetuators to justice and i'm sure the secretary of defense who is here will seek to keep him updated as things evolve. >> rosie cooper. >> thank you, mr. speaker. homes were wrecked and much needed crops were destroyed in the devastating floods that affected my constituency last month and warnings that we face another winter of floods. the government promised to bring forward plans for a new deal on flood insurance in july. my worried constituents are
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still waiting. when will this incompetent and out of touch government actually act on making sure that ordinary families and businesses are -- ordinary families and businesses are protected from flooding or will in the end this be another broken promise? >> she packed in every sound bite into that one. mr. speaker, we are involved in very detailed discussions with the insurance industry, precisely to provide her constituents with the reassurances they rightly need. i point out that was an agreement between the government and insurance industry that was never reached in the 13 years which labor was in power. we're doing that work now. it's complicated work. it's very important work. we're devoting a lot of attention to it and hope we will be able to make an announcement in the not too distant future. >> mr. brown. >> thousands of people in syria are being killed and the suffering is immense. authorities in the country say
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the british assistance has been slow and the priority ought to be supporting the civil administration councils so that basic water and sewage services can be connected. what more can the prime minister do to discuss with president obama to really bring about a solution to this crisis? >> deputy prime minister? >> i know the prime minister who is of course in the region right now discusses this on an ongoing basis with the president of the united states and will continue to do so. we are the second largest bilateral donor in syria. of course the circumstances on the ground are incredibly difficult in the delivery of aid and assistance but we need to make every effort we can to accelerate had a, get it to the right people in a timely manner and in the right place and any suggestions he wishes to make to the department for international development and others about how we should do that. >> lillian greenwood. >> mr. speaker, official documents show the healthier together reviews best option in
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downgrading kettering general hospitals a and e, maternity, children and acute services and cutting 515 of its 658 beds. how can anyone believe the prime minister when he claims that n.h.s. services are safe in his hands? >> deputy prime minister. >> i find it extraordinary she persists in this willful scam. where she blurts out the worst case scenario when she knows no decision has been taken. and instead of frightening people about what's happening in n.i.h.s. why doesn't she celebrate the great work of our nurses and doctors who are delivering an absolutely well class service for the people of kettering and elsewhere. >> oliver colville? >> thank you. could the deputy prime minister confirm the government's commitment to marine renewable energy especially in the southwest?
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>> i think this is clearly -- marine renewable energy is clearly an area where the southwest has a real natural advantage and it's one of the many areas of renewable energy which is reflected in our diverse approach to renewable energy generation in the future because we've got to wean ourselves off an overreliance on one kind of energy vention and spread our bets more fairly and sustainably in the future. >> valerie vaz? >> thank you, mr. speaker. not only is it obama day but adoption week. my 10-minute rule bill called for equalizing statutory rights for leave, pay and allowances for adoptive parents and parents to whose children are born to them and can be done by regulations. could the deputy prime minister ask a minister to meet with me? >> i would certainly make sure that the relevant minister meet withs with her and would like to pay tribute to her for
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living -- for a long-standing campaign to equal the rights of parents and i believe it should be the case and something we're looking at closely as a government and hope we'll make an announcement on that very issue in the not too distant future. >> does the deputy prime minister agree the initiative to get the crackdown on international tax avoidance is all the more important when you consider tax ends up 6% in the past 15 years while income tax receipts almost doubled? >> yes, it's quite right the treasury and chancellor have been so assiduous in providing additional resources and that the teams in witehall and elsewhere crack down on avoidance and the figures we're able to recoup in taxes paid have been avoided and billions of tax have come in which otherwise would have gone on a walk about.
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>> mr. angus brendan mcneil. >> the newly published world prosperity index shows nordic neighbors norway and sweden holding top three spots. in the last quarter the oil fund grew to $29 billion to $660 billion. will the deputy prime minister take this opportunity to congratulate the theory wiegens on the society of their enviable prosperity. >> the scottish arc of prosperity keeps changing. last time i looked it included iceland, what is he doing next? picking out malaysia or indonesia? try to be more consistent, please. >> does the deputy prime minister expect to be involved in the selection process for the next e.u. commissioner? [laughter]
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>> i won't be a candidate, however, much you might hope otherwise. >> karl turner. >> the deputy prime minister's predecessor, and mine, is's a labor excellent candidate in the police and crime commissioner in humberside but the tory candidate describes the role as a job from hell. does he agree with his tory colleague or does he think that personally he has it harder? >> mr. speaker, tell me, on the issue of the police and crime commissioner's elections, i'm not going to try to compare notes with my predecessor, but i hope everybody will turn out to vote. i think the fact there are so many has-been labor politicians, recycled, ex-labor ministers withstanding might put a lot of people off. but i hope nonetheless they will participate in these important elections. >> mark garnier.
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>> thank you very much, indeed. last week stephen farrow was sentenced to life in prisonment for the brutal murder of my constituent betty ja -- yates and the resident reverend john suddard. will you join me in congratulating the police to the conclusion of this case and sending our condolences to the families of both victims? >> prime minister, i'm sure the whole house wishes to join with my honorable friend in sending out our sincerest heartfelt condolences obviously to the victims' families and friends but also, as he says, pay tribute to the fact the police really did move very, very fast and is incredibly important in heart-wrenching cases like tht public sees, where possible, justice is done but done as rapidly as possible. >> "an lavery? >> can the deputy prime minister explain to the house why the liberal democrats are fielding only 21 candidates out of the 44 in the police and crime commissioner's elections?
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>> because we're standing in those areas where liberal democrats wish to stand as candidates. i know the party opposite -- i know the party opposite doesn't under the meaning of the word "internal party democracy" but is something i'm very proud we've got and he should try it some day. >> simon hughes. >> after inheriting a legacy of obscene bonuses and the biggest divide to the rich and poor from labor, can my right, honorable friend make clear it's the overriding ambition of government to deliver a fairer britain, and one of the ways of doing it is affordable housing and social rented housing which delivers both fairness and growth? >> prime minister? >> yes, mr. speaker, and that's why it's so important we committed to a 20 billion pounds of investment in affordable housing generating tens and tens of thousands of more affordable homes so
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families have an affordable home that they can call their own. also, i would draw his attention to the significance of the announcement made by the secretary of state for local government yesterday, that we will be looking at doubling the amount of funds in local authority pension funds that can be used to invest up to 22 billion pounds of extra money into local infrastructure. that's the way to make this country fair and to get the economy moving. >> jim shannon? >> on behalf of my party, may we join in the tribute to the two soldiers and prison officer david black who gave their lives last week? tomorrow marks the 25th anniversary of the poppy day massacre in enniskillen. this week the police received a new line of inquiry. will the deputy prime minister join with me in echoing the survivor's call for justice for new information to be brought forward?
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>> the prime minister? >> i'm sure he speaks on behalf of all of us we should pause and reflect on the terrible suffering of those who now have to relive 25 years later the memories of that terrible acrossity and those killed and injured and maimed. i know the secretary of state will be attending the anniversary event. this is an extremely difficult week for all those who successful evered at that time and had to live with those memories ever since and yes, of course, i can firm where there is new leads or evidence, that will be pursued rigorously and we provide our support in order to make sure that is the case. >> mr. john hemming. >> under the previous government, the officials used discretion to refuse to provide information to people who were brought up and care about their cases. will the deputy prime minister look to open the files of people who are brought up in care and can find out what happened to them? deputy prime minister? >> i certainly think he's right in saying, i think all of us, given the daily drip, drip effect of these horrific revelations that seem to get
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worse every day taking place on a scale that was before now unimaginable we send out a clear message to all sides of this house to any victim sitting at home alone still harboring these terrible memories and terrible suffering they endurred that this is the time to speak out, this is the time for them to come forward. we will help them. we will reach out to them and make sure that their suffering is atoned for and where we can find those who perpetuated these terrible abuses that are brought to zwruzz, even these several years since they might first occurred. >> gemma doil? >> scotland's first minister has misled the public on legal advice that does not exist and rewritten the mine tieral code for his own gain and there are strong suggestions he willig theory the aloral commission in the upcoming referendum. people in scotland are losing faith in the first minister and this government are in danger of being complicit in yet
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another muddle. does the deputy prime minister trust the first minister to deliver a fair, legal and decisive referendum on operation? >> i hope the honorable lady will recognize we've been working on a cross party bias, particularly toes parties of the united kingdom to ensure there is a fair vote in the referendum. i certainly agree with her characterization. the spectacle of the a. is -- s.n.p. administration using taxpayers money to stop the disclosure to the public of legal advice that they never sought in the first place. honestly you can't make it up and like dropping iceland from the arc of prosperity. >> mr. reid? >> rising prices to heat their homes and drive their cars are putting enormous pressures on people in areas such as argyll and bute. what steps are you doing to make the tax system fairer and put more money in their pockets
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to help pay their bills? >> that is precisely the centerpiece of the tax reform is a radical one to help pay income tax of 10,000 pounds up from 6,400 which is where we found it when we took over from labor and we will deliver a tax cut to 24 million basic rate taxpayers in this country including the constituency and something we should celebrate. >> we were selling arms to the gaddafi regime after the uprising. is the deputy prime minister pleased the prime minister is busy now selling arms to saudi arabia, a country where human rights is nonexistent, amputations take place secretly and we know how women are treated there. is that the liberal democratic policy as well? >> as you well know, we have the strictest controls of almost any developed economy in the world, governing the conditions in which we can sell conditions in which we can sell arms to othe